Monday, September 10, 2007

A BCer in San Francisco, Giants vs. Dodgers

Work has again taken me on the road, this time to San Francisco. When I have a work trip booked the first thing I do is check to see if any local sports teams are playing at home and, if so, if I can adjust my schedule to see them play.

I've been lucky enough to see the Miami Heat the year Wade and Shaq won the championship, as well as a Utah Jazz game in Salt Lake City. I've also seen the Mariners in Seattle (beautiful ballpark) and the A's play in Oakland (not so nice a stadium, but at least they beat the Yankees). And on the hockey front, a Hurricanes game in Carolina against the Sens, the year the Canes won the cup. Was also the Senators first loss of the season as I recall.

I was excited though when I learned the Giants would be in town while I was in San Francisco, as AT&T Park is one of the nicer stadiums in baseball, and while I'd seen it from the road I'd never been to a game there.

I arranged to get an early morning flight out of Toronto so I could get to the hotel, dump my bags, and high-tail it to the ball park for a matinée game. Even better it was against the Los Angeles Dodgers, so a good all California rivalry, and a pretty full ballpark.

I got a relatively cheap seat, US$29 to sit way, way up on the third base line, looking down on Barry Bonds in left field. But first, the food. Long lines at all the concessions, but it was a pretty packed game. Pricy of course, at US$15.00 for chicken tenders, garlic fries and a pop. The fries were quite tasty though made with real garlic, not garlic salt or powder.

While a bit dirty and industrial in the concourse/ramp areas, the ballpark itself is beautiful, in the style of the old-fashioned new ballparks that have been springing-up across the major leagues. And a view of the bay and the ocean over the left? Can't beat that.

Approaching AT&T Park.

The view from my high seats. One downside of the park design is somewhat obstructed seating, I had a blindspot that blocked a portion of the left field wall.

Boaters hoping to catch a home run ball, aka a splash ball, hit into the cove.

A cause of celebration for some, a bitter reminder for others.

The man himself, Barry Bonds.
A big crowd, announced at over 40,000 though I noticed some patches of empty seats.

Since the Dodgers are California rivals there was a large contingent of Dodgers fans in the crowd, and I was naturally interested to see what the reaction to Bonds would be. There was a lot of good natured competitive cheering between the Giants and Dodgers fans, but the Dodgers fans weren't shy to show their dislike for Bonds. They were upset any time the Dodgers pitched around him.

In the end, the Giants had the last laugh and sent the Dodgers fans quietly home with a 4-2 San Fran win. Bonds didn't do much, a pinch hitter had the winning home run but I was really surprised to see a really good game from Benjie Molina, the ex-Jay catcher. I think he was 3/3 or something like that, and he seemed to be a bit of a favourite with the crowd. He sure didn't do much when he was here with the Jays. Anyway, good game for Molina aside, I'd still rather have Zauner.

Fun is over though, back to the technology grind tomorrow. Off to Vegas next month, they really need to get a hockey team. But not the one that's supposed to go to Waterloo or Hamilton or wherever...

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Jason Hickman said...

Nice pic's/post.

Ever catch a came at Candlestick? Now *there* was a place that'd make you forget you were in California.

Jeff said...

I've only seen Candlestick from the highway, looks like it could get rather chilly, and probably a nasty wind too.